Joe Joslin

Hello, Anglers. We are in the heart of our 'so called' winter and water temperatures in area lakes and rivers have fallen slightly in recent days. Anglers who are in the market for new boats will oftentimes use the early part of the year with cold, rainy weather to stay in the house and get on the Internet and shop for a new boat. Most top boat manufactures have on-line software where you can select your boat with all desired options. I have ordered my last two boats using Skeeter's Build My Skeeter software program and it is very easy to use.

I selected model, colors, Lowrance electronics, trolling motor, trailer options, trailer color as well as choice of Yamaha outboard motor. Once you decide your options, you can go to a local dealer and negotiate your best deal. Another option is to attend a boat show to see a boat like you selected. Most of the time dealers also have boat show specials which could save you money. There are numerous boat shows during the months of January and February in cities in Louisiana and south Texas.

Our local boat/outdoor show, The 23rd Annual Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show is scheduled for Feb 8,9,10 at Lake Charles Civic Center. There will be more details in future publications.

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is 168.45 feet and no generating is being done at the dam, according to SRA info. Water temperatures are running from 52-54 degrees with north Toledo having slightly stained conditions, mid lake is mostly clear and south Toledo is clear.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Multiple patterns are necessary to catch bass day in and day out on The Bend. That is normally true in January fishing on most southern impoundments. One week we could have several days in a row with temperatures in 60s and 70s and the next week we could have snow flurries and lows in the mid 20s. We just had both of those and it makes fishing interesting, challenging and is not for the easily discouraged.

However, now the good news, if you love to be outside during cold weather

and don't mind a little effort, there is a good possibility you could catch some nice fish and have the lake basically to yourself. Every day we see eagles, pelicans, ducks, geese, loons and numerous other forms of wildlife. Yes, we are catching some nice bass. Shallow to mid-depths are producing (4 to 10 feet) certain times of the day but this pattern requires submerged vegetation. Ideally, it is hydrilla but it does not have to be.

Half-dead milfoil and pepper grass patches are holding bass as is patches of hydrilla. There are areas with these beneficial grasses and knowing where these are is what takes time and effort. To give anglers a place to start they can check in the 1215 area north of Pendleton on Louisiana side, Housen Bay, Six Mile and Toro all have large areas of Hydrilla which are holding bass. Work these with Stanley spinnerbaits, Frenzy Rattl'rs, Rat-L-traps and mid-diving crankbaits.

If they won't hit a moving bait, work a Berkley Sinking Minnow and Senko rigged wacky as well as TX weedless. Also work the edges with a light TX rig and Carolina Rig. In deep water, 12 to 30 feet, work a heavy Carolina rig, jig n pig and drop shot. Also, work flats off the river and bends of major feeder creeks with jigging spoons in 30-40 feet.

CRAPPIE: There is not a lot of new info on crappie. The Chicken Coop is quiet and hopefully will turn on soon. Anglers are marking a lot of fish on their electronics in The Coop area but have not had much success getting fish to bite. A few crappie are being caught in major creeks. We are catching a few big crappie on jigging spoons in 30-35 feet but not many.

AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. His sponsors include Skeeter Performance Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lake Charles Toyota, Red River Marine/Alexandria, LA, Berkley, Fenwick, Abu Garcia, Daiichi, Jay's Carpet One DeRidder, The Floor Trader Lake Charles and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or and WEBSITE

Fish Species: bass
Bait Used: Brekley Frenzy Mid Diver, Frenzy Rattlr', Gulp! Sinking Miinnow, Senko
Tackle Used: Revo STX and Cardinal 802/Fenwick Techna medium amd med heav fast tip 7' rods
Method Used: Slow cranking and deadsticking Sinking Minnows and Senkos
Water Depth: 4 to 35
Water Temperature: 51
Wind Direction: n
Wind Speed: 10 to 18
winter bassin' can have exciting results.
winter bassin' can have exciting results.

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Joe Joslin

About The Author: Captain Joe Joslin

Company: joe joslin outdoors

Area Reporting: South Toledo Bend

Bio: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor writer and writes for several Louisiana newspapers and numerous magazines including Texas Game and Fish, Louisiana Game and Fish, CenLa Sportsman, Louisiana Sportsman and LakeCaster. Joe has been fishing Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn for 25+ years and is a frequent tournament angler. Joe has been a full time pro guide on Toledo Bend/Sam Rayburn since 1998.Joe Joslin Outdoors Fishing Guide Service Wholesome atmosphere * Safety minded * Latest equipment, featuring 21i Class Skeeter with 300 hp Yamaha HPDI * Tackle supplied upon request * References available upon request * Available Year-Round. E-Mail Joe at

337 463 3848
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Joe Joslin